I had a great summit attempt on Shoshoni this Friday, however, was unable to summit due to weather and time restrictions. I was the first one on the trail and started the hike in good weather. It had snowed the night before and my car had problems getting up to the trailhead. Up to Lake Isabelle there were only about 4-6 inches of snow, however, past the lake, the accumulation was significant. I had to break trail through knee to waist deep snow for long streches. In addition, it started to snow again which reduced my visibility significantly. On the way towards Pawnee Pass (it was impossible to find a trail) I decided to take a direct approach towards Shoshoni. However, I had to get back to Boulder and turned around 300ft below the summit. Given the conditions, these extra 300ft would have cost me about 2 hours. This was my slowest (1mile/75minutes average), but also one of my funnest hikes, yet.
- I will definitely be back for another attempt.
Shashoni makes for a very nice outing by itsself. The view of Shashoni from the Isabelle Drainage is stunning. For the first few miles of the approach; Shashoni is the most prominent mountain of the three named peaks in the Isabelle Drainage. Its not until you pass the massive Shashoni rockwall that Apache and Navajo Peak show their superior beauty.
I recommend a traverse of the divide starting at Pawnee Pass, getting Point 12,860-ft and on to Shashoni Peak. As Jon notes in his excellent page, the views are spectacular. The Continental Divide traverse I alluded to, keeps you high above treeline and offers a unique and memorable view of the Lone Eagle Cirque. Shashoni's view is better than Apache's and Navajo's.
I also recommend descending Shashoni's east ridge; it is steep but it allows you to bypass the long traverse back to Pawnee Pass. I discovered this route when the clouds built up and knew i needed to get the hell off the mountain. I will add the east ridge roue soon.
I originaly tried to climb Shoshoni Peak on Saturday July 26, 2002. Inclement weather consisting of low clouds, high winds, and freezing dizzle forced me to turn around at Pawnee Pass. Not to be detured (and still having my Brainard Lake 2 day pass) I returned the next day July 27. The weather was much better this day and I enjoyed myself immensly. My dogs Sopris and Raymond accompanied me on this nice sojourn. After relaxing on Shoshoni we ascended Pawnee Peak which is an easy addition to the hike.